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Over the past few years, CBD has become a staple in many people’s health routine. Wellness-minded people across the country are starting to use CBD to enhance their overall well-being in a natural way. Of course, one large segment of the population that can’t be ignored is seniors.
This demographic has started to turn to different CBD products as well. In fact, in a recent survey, 9% of seniors have said they have tried CBD for health-related reasons. While the number may be on the smaller side, as the use of CBD continues to grow in popularity, the number of seniors using CBD for their wellness is likely to rise.
Many seniors who have yet to actually try CBD may have had their curiosity peaked, and may be interested to know just how the product can serve their unique needs. Naturally, as our bodies age, we have different needs that emerge that require attention. Thankfully for this segment of the population, there are many incredible benefits of CBD for seniors that can address these needs and help them achieve a boost in overall wellness.
What is CBD?
Before getting into the benefits of CBD for seniors and the different products available, it is important to establish a few key facts about it. CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plant. When ingested, this chemical compound interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body. This system is responsible for regulating homeostasis in the body and keeping everything in balance and functioning at its best. When CBD is introduced, it can help stimulate the functions in this system, boosting overall wellness. As far as legality goes, CBD derived from the hemp plant (as opposed to the marijuana plant) is legal on the federal level.
The Difference Between CBD and THC
Seniors who have heard about CBD products may be a bit skeptical or off-put by CBD due to its relation to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). However, it is important to understand that, while the two compounds share some similarities, they both have different effects on the body.
Like CBD, THC is a cannabinoid. Both chemical compounds are derived from the cannabis sativa plant, which has two main species: hemp and marijuana. In hemp, there is a higher level of CBD, whereas in marijuana, there is a higher level of THC – although both compounds can be found in both plants. Hemp, however, has less than 0.03% THC.
Here is the big difference between the two: THC is psychoactive. It is what is responsible for the “high” feeling that is associated with marijuana. CBD, on the other hand, is not psychoactive. Its effects are more subtle – it provides an overall sense of calm and relief, but there is not a high feeling associated with it.
In short, seniors who are wary of CBD can put any worries to rest about the chemical compound getting them high. While CBD and THC do come from the same plant, CBD does not have the psychoactive properties associated with THC. The benefits of CBD for seniors can be enjoyed without having to worry about any unwanted psychoactive effects.
The Benefits of CBD for Seniors
CBD is known for providing a sense of calm and relieving discomfort in users. With regular use, a CBD product can help you boost your overall wellness. There are many potential benefits of CBD, and when it comes to CBD for seniors, there are a few in particular that should be noted.
While everyone’s experience is different, many seniors have found CBD to be a beneficial addition to their wellness routine. Studies focused on CBD products and their benefits are still emerging, and more research needs to be done to fully flesh out the effects of CBD. However, some of the initial studies have found that potential benefits may include the following:
CBD May Promote Restful Sleep
Data has shown that approximately half of seniors have some sort of trouble with sleep. Seniors having a difficult time falling and staying asleep may find some relief with CBD. A 2019 study found that patients who self-reported poor sleep quality saw an improvement in the first month of taking CBD. Additionally, a 2016 study found that CBD may be helpful in regulating sleep stability.
CBD May Help You Navigate Everyday Stresses
Seniors may be able to find more of a sense of calm with CBD. CBD has been found to have an anxiolytic-like effect, meaning that it may help with anxiety symptoms. A study has shown that, as CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, it may help relieve anxious behaviors and instate and sense of calm. Considering that 27% of elders who are under the care of an aging service provider have exhibited some signs of anxiety, CBD may be a beneficial addition to a wellness routine to help soothe symptoms (while seeking additional treatment, if necessary).
CBD May Help Reduce Inflammation
Seniors are often faced with having to deal with some sort of physical pain, whether it be chronic or acute. CBD (whether applied topically or ingested internally) may be helpful in reducing some of the discomfort associated with the pain, particularly since it has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. In a survey of CBD users, 45% of participants surveyed said they had used a CBD product for reducing pain. 42% of those respondents said it worked better for them than typical pain medications. A 2015 study even found that CBD applied topically has the potential to reduce pain related to arthritis. While CBD won’t cure the root cause, some studies indicate it may provide some relief while seeking out additional treatment.
Seniors using CBD may experience a host of wonderful benefits for their overall health and wellness. That being said, seniors dealing with any ailments or issues should always seek advice from a medical professional.
CBD Oil for Seniors
CBD oil is one of the most popular CBD products for seniors. In fact, in a recent survey of seniors who use CBD, 54.4% reported that they use CBD oil by ingesting it through the mouth. The popularity of CBD oil for seniors is likely due to the accessibility on the market and ease of use. CBD oil most often comes in a dropper bottle, and users can either put a dose into a beverage (like their morning cup of tea), or simply put it directly in their mouth under their tongue.
When looking for a CBD oil for seniors, in order to get the best results in terms of overall wellness, it is best to look for full-spectrum CBD oil. Full-spectrum oils are produced using the entire hemp plant. This means that there are other cannabinoids and beneficial plant compounds in the formula that can help boost wellness. Also, be sure to avoid products that are simply listed as “hemp oil” and do not label the concentration of CBD – they likely do not actually have any (or have very little) CBD.
As mentioned, CBD oil can be taken sublingually (meaning under the tongue), or added to a beverage. Seniors using CBD oil sublingually should be sure to leave it under the tongue for 60 seconds to get the full effects.
CBD Salve for Seniors
CBD salve is another option that can be particularly helpful for seniors. A salve (or similar product, like a gel or lotion) is applied topically to the skin. This means that the product delivers a targeted dose of CBD to a certain area of the body, opposed to a product that is ingested internally that delivers more general effects to the entire body. Since salves give users the ability to target certain areas, they can be beneficial for releasing discomfort or pain in places of the body where relief might be necessary. For example, a senior experiencing pain due to arthritis may be able to find some relief by applying a CBD salve to the area where the discomfort is occurring. As mentioned above, a CBD product won’t resolve the source of the pain. However, a product like a CBD salve may be a useful symptom-reducer for seniors who are experiencing acute or chronic pain in certain areas of the body.
Other CBD Products for Seniors
The options for CBD for seniors don’t stop there. While CBD oils and salves may be the most reached-for options among this demographic, there are a variety of other forms through which they can take CBD. CBD gummies are a fun and delicious way to get in your daily dose of wellness. CBD isolates are another option, and they offer the same easy-to-use benefits as CBD oil – you can simply take them sublingually, or mix them into drinks. Whatever your lifestyle and preference, there is a CBD product that will work for you.
CBD for Seniors: A Natural Addition for a Well-Rounded Wellness Routine
Seniors from all walks of life can benefit from using a CBD product. CBD can be the perfect natural wellness addition to any senior’s routine. As with any new supplement or diet plan, it is important to discuss the addition of CBD to your life with a doctor to determine if it is the best fit for your unique needs.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Disclosure